|CD Cover||CD Back||CD Tray|
|Booklet Pages 2 & 7||Booklet Pages 6 & 3||Booklet Pages 4 & 5|
|CD 1 Label||CD 2 Label|
April 18th 1980
Apollo Theatre, Manchester
|Tony Banks||Keyboards & Vocals|
|Phil Collins||Lead Vocals, Drums & Percussion|
|Mike Rutherford||Lead Guitars, Bass Guitars & Vocals|
|with special guests|
|Daryl Stuermer||Lead Guitars & Bass Guitars|
|Chester Thompson||Drums & Percussion|
For British fans of Genesis keen to see their favourite band play live, 1978 and 1979 were lean years indeed. '...And Then There Were Three...' was supported by the band's only UK performance in 1978, at the Knebworth festival on June 24th, while 1979 saw no live dates on British soil at all. Undergoing personal problems at the time, Phil Collins relocated to Vancouver in an attempt to save his collapsing marriage, explaining to Tony and Mike, "If you don't mind coming to Vancouver to record, then we've still got a group. But if you can't, then this is the end." Wisely, his bandmates' response was to allow Phil all the time he needed to sort out his private difficulties.
Although essentially a year off for Genesis, 1979 nevertheless turned out to be a productive year for the individual members of the band. Tony and Mike recorded their first solo albums, 'A Curious Feeling' and 'Smallcreep's Day' respectively, and Phil whose move to Canada lasted only two months, returned to England, resigned to the break-up of his marriage. He began pouring his emotions into a series of heartfelt songs which would become his debut solo album, 'Face Value'. "Because I wasn't very articulate," Phil remembered, "or felt that I wasn't very articulate, I was writing these songs as messages in some respects. The songwriting was like keeping a diary."
In October that year, Tony, Mike and Phil reconvened as Genesis, setting up in Phil's otherwise empty house to begin working on new group material for their tenth studio album, 'Duke'. Phil: "Mike and Tony finished their albums and we decided to get back to do a group album, so everybody moved into my house because I was living on my own. The studio was in the master bedroom, which basically had nothing in it apart from my piano, the keyboards and the demo equipment. There was a secondary bedroom which I also took everything out of and put the Genesis equipment in".
Having used up the majority of their individually written songs on their solo projects, the trio returned to improvising together and developing group compositions, as they had done in the early years. Mike: "Having been out there doing solo work, I felt, probably subconsciously, it would be good to get back to what we used to do, which was writing together. And with 'Duke' we turned that corner".
Central to the album was the so-called 'Duke Suite', a collection of six tracks ('Behind The Lines', 'Duchess', 'Guide Vocal', 'Turn It On Again', 'Duke's Travels' and 'Duke's End') which had been conceived as one long piece, lasting 25 minutes, as Tony recalled: ďAt one point, we were going to join together all the group compositions on the album -they were all going to be one long song. But we decided for a variety of reasons to keep them separate. We felt that the album wouldn't be so well balanced if we had all the individual tracks on one side. The other thing was, we didn't want to repeat ourselves; you know, having done something like 'Supper's Ready' a long time ago...there would be comparisons and we didn't really want that". Instead, the suite was broken up into individual tracks, only being joined together again, as originally intended, when the band took to the road to play the new material live.
Conscious of the changing musical climate at the time, Genesis were keen not to become a parody of themselves and in fact rejected a fair amount of material they had come up with during the writing process, considering it too similar to previous tracks they had written. When the album was completed, Mike Rutherford explained: "There isn't really any definite concept behind the album, although there are a couple of numbers with compatible themes. The cover concept, using Koechlin's children's book character to tie things together, was rather an after-thought. I suppose he just represents the little Everyman character who is a bit confused by life in the eighties. Some of the songs reflect that worry, though there is no consistent line throughout the album."
In many ways, 'Duke' was a pivotal album for Genesis, the strength of the group compositions serving to reunite the trio of core members, and to this day Tony Banks remains very proud of it: "'Duke' is my favourite Genesis album. It was a good time all round in our career. It was far and away our most successful album, our first number one album in the UK, even a bit of a hit in the States where 'Misunderstanding' did well as a single. It was a good moment. When I hear it now there is still something about the opening of 'Behind the Lines'. It's so optimistic".
'Duke' was released in March 1980, preceded by the unexpected hit single 'Turn It On Again', and with the album's release came the surprise announcement that Genesis would be undertaking a full six-week 40-date British tour which would concentrate on provincial theatres rather than stadiums. Demand for tickets was unprecedented, with fans queuing up to four nights outside the theatre box offices in the icy British weather (for which dedication Phil pays thanks on this recording). Needless to say, the tour wasted no time in selling out. An extra date was added at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (the scene of another Genesis triumph several years earlier) and when that also sold out, there were further additional London dates, at the Lyceum Ballroom. The band even made a return to Friar's in Aylesbury, the club which had supported them so fervently in the early 1970s.
By the time the tour reached Manchester in April, the 'Duke' show was a polished and highly efficient two-hour Genesis performance. Phil's transition from remarkable drummer to entertaining frontman (with dubious taste in Hawaiian shirts!) was complete, his confidence obvious to everyone. This previously unreleased recording of the first of two nights at Manchester's Apollo theatre is a fine memento of what was arguably the last truly great Genesis tour.
This remaster project began with the master tapes of the show. This source has previously been uncirculated, a new find for the Genesis community. The show is complete here, except for tape flip gaps. Because the taper wanted to capture the whole Duke Suite on a separate tape from the rest of the show, additional points of swapping tapes occurred, which, in turn, resulted in additional gaps. These needed to be patched. There is a widely circulated, poor quality, alternative source of this show which was used to patch these gaps. There is a significant difference in the quality of these two sources so the patches are rather obvious when they are encountered. We felt it was better to patch the gaps with material from this actual show, to maintain the historic consistency, rather than use higher quality material from a different show. Once the gaps were patched, the show was put together in the original order and sequence. The tapes were digitized in 32-bit, 44.1 kHz format for the work.
Speed was an issue with this recording. A close analysis showed a fairly consistent speed error throughout the show that was easily corrected. The acoustics of the venue also worked against us. The hall characteristics and the location of the taper produced a tonality imbalance that needed correction after the speed error was fixed.
Hiss, hum and other tape noises were readily identified and reduced as much as possible. The auto-record-level feature introduced unintended suppressions in the recording that needed to be restored and repaired. The microphones also had an uneven response and became more sensitive to midrange frequencies during loud sections of the music. Dynamic filters were necessary to fix this problem and even out the tonality throughout the show.
At some points during the show, the tonality shifts and becomes less detailed and more muffled. Corresponding directly with the taper about this, he remembers the security guards being out in force. This caused him to occasionally hide the microphones to avoid detection and this produced the tonality change. The stereo field also shifts quite noticeably at these points. These sections were adjusted as much as possible to correct the imbalance.
In some sections there was distortion of the recording. Many techniques were used and tried to correct the problem but eventually, decisions were made to optimize the sound at the expense of quality. Fortunately, they are not too obvious. The show was then balanced and tracked and converted to CD Audio, 16-bit format to produce the final result.
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